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Scarlett Simpson Wins the J. Applegate Award for Outstanding Student in Wildlife Conservation

Hi! My name is Scarlett. I've been a New Jersey native my whole life. I grew up in Manville, a little ways away from Rutgers in Somerset County. I wish I could say that I've always had a passion for ecology, but that's not true. Throughout high school and early college, I was convinced I wanted to go for a BA in English. Something didn't quite fit about that, though, and it was only after I took a vertebrate zoology class at my community college that everything clicked for me. I instantly felt a connection to ecology as a field despite never having even thought about it before, and I realized that I wanted to pursue it. I switch my degree path, and then transferred to Rutgers in Spring 2020. Early 2020 was not the best time I could have transferred, but I've enjoyed the classes I've taken immensely (even the online ones). I've met a ton of awesome people at this school, both friends and mentors, and I’ve discovered interests that I never would have had otherwise. I’ve found myself really in love with plants and community ecology as a general concept, and I hope to pursue a career that incorporates both of those interests in the future. Right now, I’m planning on looking for seasonal work to travel and get a feel for what I really want to do before settling back into something more permanent.

May 2022